5 Ways to Boost Your ImmunityEastmed
As winter approaches, I personally believe the flu vaccine is still the best way to protect me from getting the flu. According to the Centres for Disease Control & Precention (CDC), the flu vaccine can reduce the risk of flu illness by 50% to 60%. In some years the efficacy can be as high as 70%. Although the flu vaccine this season is not as effective as compared to previous years, it can still help reduce the severity and duration of a flu. Got your flu jab? Good, remember do it every year!
If you have been following my posts you would have learnt that besides the influenza viruses, other viruses and bacteria can also cause upper respiratory illness (e.g rhinovirus, adenovirus and streptococcus). The world that we are living is literally surrounded by infectious microrganisms. But, have you ever wondered why you remain healthy most of the time? This is simply because your immune system is doing most of the work defending your body from nasty microorganisms. To thank your immunity this winter, you should strengthen the system by doing the followings:
1) Exercise regularly. It is always important to get some form of moderate exercise done regularly, like a daily 30 minutes walk. Exercise can health boost your immunity by enabling you to fight against infection.
If you don’t exercice, the chances are that you are more prone to getting sick than someone who does on a regular basis. So get those legs moving!
2) Adequate sleep. Studies have shown that well rested individual who received the flu vaccine developed better protection against illness compare to those who don’t. This is possibly due to the release of stress hormone which can suppress our immune system. So make sure you get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for good health.
3) Immune boosting supplements. In winter I usually strengthen my immunity by taking several crucial vitamins that have immune boosting property.
Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system supporter of all. Clinical studies suggest that it can reduce severity and the duration of a cold and flu. People who lack in vitamin C are more prone to getting sick. Vitamin C is one of those essential vitamins that your body doesn’t produce or store. Hence, it is crucial to replenish your levels on a daily basis. There are many foods rich in vitamin C like kiwifruit, oranges, strawberries, spinach, kale and broccoli. However, if you are not a keen eater, you could give vitamin C supplement a try. A daily dose of 1 to 3 grams of vitamin C could fend off colds and flu.
Vitamin B6 can support the biochemical reaction in the immune system. Chicken, salmon, tuna, green vegetables and chick peas are all rich in Vitamin B6.
Zinc is an important minerals that plays a part in boosting your immunity. It is typically found in foods such as Chicken, red meat, fish, daily products and eggs. Taking a zinc supplement is also beneficial. It is recommended that 40mg of zinc should be taken.
4) Drink less alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption can suppress immune system. Go easy folks!
5) Give probiotics a try. A lot of people don’t realise that our gut health can have a huge effect on our immune system. Have you ever wondered why sometimes you need multiple courses of antibiotics to fight off a cold related illness? This is because the imbalance in the level of bacteria in your gut caused by the antibiotics may affect your body’s ability to fend off infections. Hence, it is suggested to eat food with live and active cultures. Fermented food such as kimchi is rich in live cultures and can offer additional benefit to ordinary food. I am a strong believer of probiotics and I always recommend a course of it during winter and particularly when you are taking a course of antibiotic.
There are lots of different brands of cold and flu supplements in the market. Some work better than the others. Come in store to find out what’s right for you.